|What kind of needle should I use?
|The obvious answer is - use needles that are new, straight and sharp. What is not so obvious is that the number one complaint about the performance, quality, accuracy and reliability of a sewing machine is related to the needle.
I don’t care how new or old your machine might be. It matters not how much or how little you paid for your machine. It matters not who manufactured or maintained your machine. It matters not how experienced or novice at sewing you might be. There is no use arguing with physics. A sharp straight needle will yield great results. A dull bent needle will yield tiresome aggravation.
If you bring your machine to me for service, the very first thing I will do is install a new needle and dispose of the old one. Then, and only then, will I test how the machine functions. I do this because the needle is, quite literally, the heart of the sewing machine. If the needle is not sharp, straight and true, nothing else will matter because nothing else will work. Even though seemingly simple, the sewing machine needle is a finely engineered device and carefully manufactured to exacting standards. Despite this, the needle is the first thing to be damaged and/or wear out even in ordinary use.
Not to put too fine of a point on the argument (pun intended), a sewing machine is nothing more than an expensive doorstop if it does not have a sharp, straight and true needle installed.
If in the process of servicing the machine and I accidentally snag or bump the needle (which happens a lot), I change the needle. If there is any question in my mind about the integrity of the needle, I’ll change it – again. When returning a machine to the customer, I’ll install a fresh needle – again. Yeah, I have a sharps container on my workbench to dispose of all the old needles. For that matter, so should you.
Needles are easy to change. In fact, you should be generous about needles. They are cheap when bought in bulk. It is not an unreasonable thing for you to purchase a 100-count pack of needles. If you ever break a needle, you’ll have a plentiful supply of replacements. Whenever you start a new project – change the needle. After you finish off three or four bobbins – change the needle. Should the machine break the thread in the middle of a project – change the needle.
This, gentle reader, is not a straight needle.
And so my advice to you is this – if you’re going to take the time, trouble and expense to plan your next project, don’t skimp on the needles. Go ahead and spring for a pack of new ones. You and your project are worth it.